By Kenton Brooks
Phoenix Sports Writer
FORT GIBSON — Trying to defend Fort Gibson’s girls high school basketball team is not an easy chore.
The Lady Tigers have a strong inside and outside presence and they showed it in taking the 56-41 victory at Harrison Field House on Tuesday night.
Allie Glover relied on her 3-point shooting and the 5-foot-10 Palmer muscled inside as the duo scored 14 points each to lead the team that’s No. 2 in the Okrankings.com poll this week.
Even so, Glover believed her team could’ve played better while improving to 20-0 for the season.
“We could’ve gotten the ball inside more and we didn’t shoot that well from the outside,” she said. “Overall, we didn’t have a good game, but we still won.”
But it wasn’t all Palmer inside. Susie Kilpatrick, a 6-2 sophomore, blocked three shots in the second half.
“I thought we did good on the inside out, but that’s just fundamental basketball,” Fort Gibson assistant coach Chuck London said.
Hilldale coach Scott Hensley was impressed with the Lady Tigers after his Lady Hornets slipped to 14-7.
“They’re tough,” he said. “You’ve got to give up something. They’re really well-coached and know what to do in certain situations. When we got out to pressure them, it took a lot of gas out of us.”
Hillary Calvert, who scored a team-high 11 points on 3 of 8 shooting, gave the Lady Tigers props.
“They know how to move the ball and get it to their shooters and go inside when they need to,” she said.
Hilldale’s inside presence, Nicole Wright, was able to cut Fort Gibson’s lead to 41-36 on a basket with 4:35 left in the game. The Lady Hornets wouldn’t get any closer as the Lady Tigers had a 10-0 scoring run after that to increase their lead to 51-36 a minute left.
Both teams are back on their homecourts on Friday as Hilldale plays Keys and Fort Gibson faces Catoosa.
Fort Gibson 83,
Jordan Hill, honored before the game with the Kent Backes Memorial Scholarship given to the Fort Gibson senior boy, poured in a career-high 34 points on 4 of 6 shooting from 3-point range. He was particularly pleased with his outside shooting.
“In the last four or five games, I’ve not been making my 3’s at all,” the Oklahoma Baptist University signee said. “I’ve been coming up later in the gym and putting in extra time.”
Fort Gibson coach Gary Hendrix praised Hill’s 3-point shooting skill.
“He’s a good athlete,” Hendrix said. “When he elevates and shoots it, he’s a good shooter.”
Hilldale coach Jeremy Rogers was also impressed.
“He’s long and athletic,” he said. “He’s not short. He has a high basketball IQ. He’s the kind of kid who gets a basketball scholarship. He’s, by far, their best player and they wouldn’t be very good without him.”
There was plenty of 3-point shooting by both teams.
Jordan London and Collin Abdallah had three each. London finished with 19 points. Zach Lindley added 17.
The Hornets had 12 baskets from beyond the arc and Bill Muse, Jr. sank five of them for his 17 points. Hunter Harrison had 15 and Dylan Rowan added 10.